Maersk orders two drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries

Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea for the construction of two ultra deepwater drillships. The drillships are scheduled for delivery in the third and fourth quarters of 2013, respectively. The total project cost for the two drillships is close to $1.3 billion. This includes a turnkey contract with the shipbuilder, owner-furnished equipment, project management, commissioning, start-up costs and capitalized interest. The contract includes an option for the construction of two additional drillships.

The 228 meter long drill ships will be able to operatein water depths up to 12,000 ft (3,650 m) and will be capable of drilling wells of more than 40,000 ft (12,200 m). With an advanced positioning control system (Dynamic Positioning System) the ships will automatically maintain a fixed position in severe weather conditions with waves up to 11 meters and wind speeds up to 26 meters per second.

“We see an increasing share of the global oil and gas production coming from deepwater, and this trend will drive a solid growth in the demand for ultra deepwater drilling services in areas such as Brazil, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and a member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.

“These will be the first drillships in Maersk Drilling's ultra deepwater fleet. They will complement our existing three deepwater semi-submersibles and they will add a new important aspect in our offering to our customers in the ultra deepwater market," Mr. Hemmingsen continued.

“This order follows our recent order for two highly advanced ultra harsh environment jack-up rigs placed in February and implements our strategy of growing our business within the most attractive market segments; ultra deepwater floaters and high specification jack-up rigs,” Mr. Hemmingsen concluded.

The jack-ups were ordered at the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore.

In line with the design philosophy in Maersk Drilling’s ultra deepwater semi-submersibles the drillship design includes features for high efficiency operation including a dual derrick, which allows for parallel and offline activities. The extensive storage areas and tank capacities provide an advantage when operating in areas with less developed infrastructure and limited presence of suppliers. Together with the higher transit speed the increased capacity will reduce the overall logistics costs for the oil companies. The drillships will have accommodations for 230 people.

Maersk Drilling’s fleet already include three ultra deepwater semi-submersibles working in Australia, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

April 6, 2011